How to Troubleshoot Golf Cart Gas Engines

By Keith Dooley

Golf ball on the edge of the hole
Golf carts are found on most golf courses, but are also used by home owners, farmers and vacation home owners. Available in either battery-powered or gas-engine models, some popular golf cart manufacturers include Club Car, E-Z-Go, and Yamaha. Gas carts are particularly well suited for rougher terrain, maneuvering rolling hills and transporting heavier payloads. Due to normal everyday use it may be necessary to troubleshoot a gas cart to determine why the cart is not operating at peak performance.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Check the gas tank to make sure there is enough fuel for operation. Inspect the tank with a flashlight if necessary. Avoid using old gasoline which has been stored, add fresh gasoline as needed.
  2. Remove the oil dipstick and check that the oil level is at or just above the add or fill maker. Add oil, if necessary, following the manufacturer's directions and use the recommended weight oil.
  3. Inspect the battery of the golf cart. Make sure the cables are securely connected. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten cables. Also check the water level, and if low, fill with distilled water. Use a brush to remove any corrosion from the terminals.
  4. Examine the wiring and switches. Check electrical wiring for cuts or abrasion and repair with electrical tape. Check all switches to insure good wiring connections. Secure any loose connections by crimping with pliers, wrapping with electrical tape or tightening with a screw driver.
  5. Remove the air filter from the engine to access the carburetor. Use a screwdriver to remove the retaining screw. Spray cleaner into the carburetor as well as the throttle linkage, which is located just below the carburetor. Reassemble the air filter to the engine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash the cart thoroughly to remove dirt, debris and grime. Accumulations of debris can often interfere with normal operation. Avoid spraying large amounts of water on the engine.
  • Use caution when working with electrical wires, connections and batteries. Wear protective clothing, gloves and eye protection.
  • Keep an open flame away from gas and gas tanks.

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for Associated Content in the past and has been a contributing writer at Demand Media Studios for the last year, writing mainly for eHow, Trails, Golflink and Travels.